Savouring Saadiyat Island: The 5 Best Things to Do for First-Time Travelers

Savouring Saadiyat Island: The 5 Best Things to Do for First-Time Travelers

n the recent World Travel Awards, Saadiyat Island received the most coveted recognition as the Middle East‘s Leading Beach Destination.

According to Breaking Travel News, this world-renowned destination has received this prestigious award for 11 consecutive years.

But aside from stunning beaches, Saadiyat Island boasts a variety of attractions that make visiting this destination a must for everyone who loves travelling.

From the Saadiyat Beach Club and the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Mamsha Al Saadiyat, you can have a diverse, fun-filled itinerary that will let you make the most of your visit to this world-famous island for the first time.

Saadiyat Island’s Top Experiences for First-Time Visitors

If it’s your first time to visit Saadiyat Island, make sure you enjoy these experiences, which the island is well-known for:

  1. Go beach hopping.

Saadiyat Island boasts two incredible beaches – Saadiyat Beach Club and Kai Beach.

Saadiyat Beach Club is one of the most luxurious beach resorts in Abu Dhabi.

Located along the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Saadiyat Beach Club boasts a stunning beach with white sands and azure waters. The beachside is peppered with comfy loungers, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy Saadiyat Island’s sun, sand and sea.

The beach club has an infinity pool that gives you incredible views of the sea while you relax in your best resort wear on the poolside sun loungers or in a private cabana.

Whether you’re at the beach or pool, you can soak in the beautiful views and calming ambience while enjoying a refreshing beverage and some delectable snacks from the onsite restaurants – Safina Restaurant and La Salle Restaurant.

You can have your drinks and food from these restaurants delivered to your lounger or cabana.

Located between the Park Hyatt and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Kai Beach is one of Abu Dhabi’s best public beaches.

Aside from its beautiful white sands and clear turquoise waters, Kai Beach is teeming with shrubs and other greenery, giving it a secluded island charm.

The beach features sun loungers under macrame umbrellas, where you can relax while taking in the magnificent natural views. As you enjoy the sun, sand and sea, you can indulge in your choice of beverage and snack from the nearby MLT food truck.

You can also enjoy different water activities and sports here, including swimming, paddleboarding and more.

Whether you’re relaxing by the beach or poolside, be on the lookout for dolphins frolicking at the bay or Hawksbill turtles on the shore, incredible marine creatures you can find at the Saadiyat Beach Club and Kai Beach.

  1. Play golf.

If you’re into golf, you’ll love every minute you spend at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the first ocean golf course in the region.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club was designed by Gary Player, a multi-awarded professional golfer and golf course designer.

It is a beautifully designed 72-par golf course boasting several excellent facilities and natural features, including existing saltwater lakes and beach dunes.

The golf course showcases a design that gives golfers a challenging experience while providing fantastic views of the Arabian Gulf and the island’s natural surroundings.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club also has an excellent clubhouse where you can relax, dine and socialise after playing a round or two on the golf course. Hawksbill Restaurant, the onsite dining spot, is one of the most popular establishments on the island.

  1. Explore local and international art.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is one of the most popular and beautiful attractions in Saadiyat Island and the United Arab Emirates.

Dubbed the Middle East’s first ‘universal museum,’ this art institute features numerous works with cultural and historical significance.

The museum showcases four major exhibitions every year, usually curated with the four seasons in mind. They create these exhibits with their French art expert partners.

Louvre Abu Dhabi also has permanent collections from famous artists. These include paintings, dioramas, astrolabes, ancestor figures, canister towers and other artworks highlighting the history of art and modern ideas and innovations.

When you want a break from exploring the museum, head to one of their onsite dining options, which include the Art Lounge, Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, Aptitude Café and Marta Bar.

For a more unique experience, sign up for a kayaking tour to see the museum’s grand architecture and picturesque natural surroundings along the Gulf’s glittering waters.

  1. Broaden your knowledge of faith and religion.

The Abrahamic Family House is a centre fostering mutual understanding, harmonious coexistence and peace among people of different faiths.

This centre consists of three houses of worship – the Eminence Ahmed El-Tayeb Mosque, St. Francis Church and Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue.

These houses of worship are designed of equal stature and size. The same materials were used for building them to remove any sense of inequality. They also border an elevated landscaped garden that acts as a spot for gathering and sharing.

The centre has the Forum, a unique space where people can gather, communicate and connect. This place provides classes, discussions and other events celebrating faith and religion.

The Abrahamic Family House offers various experiences, including guided tours and immersive journeys that aim to broaden your understanding of other cultures and religions.

It is highly recommended that you visit the three houses of worship to learn about the primary tenets of each faith.

  1. Dine and sightsee.

Mamsha Al Saadiyat is Saadiyat Island’s exclusive beachfront community located in the heart of the island’s cultural district.

The community boasts a promenade with an amazing view of the sea and a variety of retail shops, dining options and entertainment hubs.

If you’re craving coffee, indulge in your choice of brew at Ten 11 Beach Abu Dhabi or LOCAL.

If you love sushi, sashimi, yakitori and other authentic Japanese food, head to the NIRI Restaurant & Bar. For succulent steaks, ribs, lamb chops and other hearty meat dishes, make a reservation at The Steak Room.

Indulge in Middle Eastern cuisine at Beirut Sur Mer and Caribbean food at Ting Irie.

Mamsha Al Saadiyat has a hypermarket where you can shop for your essentials. There is also a salon and barbershop if you want a new hairstyle.

If you need to engage in retail therapy, you can head to Yas Mall and Al Mariah Mall, the two biggest shopping centres near Mamsha Al Saadiyat.

When you need a break, stroll along the promenade to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the fantastic views.

With its multiple awards, pristine beaches, world-class golf course, and fascinating museum and cultural centres, Saadiyat Island is worth checking off your travel bucket list.